The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ed.
Part Sixty Six Q&A 1626 - 1650
1626. I have a 2001 LE PT with 100k miles. I drove to the store, the car was fine. When I finished shopping I started up the car and it didn't turn over at first. I tried again, it started, but the engine idle revved up to 5000rpm. I waited a minute and it went down slightly, but was still revving high. I put it in reverse and without touching the gas, the car flew back. I went to apply the brakes, but the pedal wouldn't even go down. Now the car revs high; it went down the road at 35 miles an hour without my foot on the gas, and no way of applying the brakes. I took it to a mechanic who hooked it up to the diagnostic and said something about the cam and crankshaft sensor, so he changed that, but that did not fix the problem...still revving extremely high and cannot apply the brakes. Any idea of what this can be? – Dane, from Massachusetts.
I would check for a vacuum related issue. They can cause a high idle and issues with the power brake booster in the brake system. The booster uses vacuum to ease pedal effort as force is transferred through the booster to the master cylinder. The vacuum is supplied from the intake manifold on the engine through the vacuum hose and power brake booster vacuum check valve. There's an additional hose on the side of the booster vacuum check valve that leads to the speed control. A competent technician can check the booster vacuum hose and engine tune for adequate vacuum supply. It could be something as simple as a loose or damaged vacuum hose. I would start at the brake booster – that's were the most recent brake work was performed. Vacuum diagnostics are available in the Pit area on the site or in the service manual.
1627. I have a 2002 LE PT with 84k miles. My wife tried to open the liftgate (I think while it was locked) the latch came up and is locked in the up position. I can't unlock or open lift gate. Is there a way to open from the inside? – Paul, from North Carolina.
No, there are no mechanisms available to unlock the liftgate from the inside. Try unlocking it using the 3 methods available to you. Manually, using the key, (2) remotely using the key fob transmitter, and (3) the central locking/unlocking feature. Review your owner manual if you're not familiar with these features.
You could also try removing the interior liftgate trim panel to access the locking mechanism. With the panel removed, you have an opportunity to examine the locking mechanism and determine if it can be manually opened. The downsides are it will be cramped working in that area, even if the rear shelf is not installed, and normally the liftgate is in the open position when removing the trim panel. It may not be removable with the liftgate closed. There's a guide in the Pit area if you want to try it. See your local dealer if these methods fail to unlock the liftgate.
1628. I have a 2001 LE PT with 97k miles. I'm experiencing difficulty draining the coolant. I removed the radiator cap, and turned the stopcock on the bottom of the radiator (it only went 1/4 of a turn counter clockwise), but no fluid came out. What needs to be done to drain the coolant for replacement per recommended maintenance? – Brendan, from Texas.
I can't tell from your description if you're draining the system correctly and or if the drain cock is simply clogged with sediment. Try to induce flow by working the drain cock back and forth to open it further.
If you can open it further, but there's still no flow follow this procedure to remove the clogged drain cock. Open the drain cock by turning it counterclockwise until it stops. Then turn the drain cock clockwise 1/8 turn. Then pull the drain cock from the radiator tank.
Although more time consuming and messy; you can try removing the lower radiator hose to drain the radiator. If you need additional help, there's a cooling system guide in the Pit area.
1629. I have a 2002 LE PT with 76k miles. My front window operations started to become intermittent when pushing the "down" button. When they would go down, I never had any problems with them going up. Now, neither front window will go down. – Michael, from Texas.
Check circuit breaker #2 (20amp) in the interior fuse box. If the breaker is ok and this condition affects both front windows, it is unlikely that the motor and regulator for each window has failed at the same time. In this instance the switch module may be at fault. You can check voltage at the switch, and the switch itself, using a volt/ohm meter with the diagnostic in the service manual, which is also available in the Pit area on the site.
1630. I have a PT and drove through a puddle of water this morning. The vehicle stalled and refused to restart. I had it towed to Chrysler and they have informed me that the motor is now full of water. The said it was water locked. Has anyone heard of this before? Thanks. – Forum poster, from USA.
Hydrostatic lock occurs when liquids, typically water, enter an engine cylinder. This can occur from a coolant, oil or fuel leak, but the chief cause is drawing water into the engine through the air induction system (airbox, throttle body, intake manifold, etc.). Internal combustion engines employ a compression stroke to compress the air/fuel mixture. Liquids are incompressible; the presence of a liquid in the engine cylinder during the compression stroke generates destructively high cylinder pressures which can bend and break pistons, piston pins, connecting rods, crankshafts and ruin bearings and crack or break cylinder heads and engine blocks.
Small amounts of liquids may pass through an engine cycle without damage, but volumes exceeding 1.4 fl oz., (less than 3 tbs.) will cause many engines to develop cylinder pressures well in excess of 1000psi. A larger volume of water, up to the combustion chamber volume will generate increasingly high cylinder pressure during the completion of the compression stroke. Volumes of water which exceed the combustion chamber volume will "stop" a running engine through true hydrostatic lock. Something expensive always bends or breaks when this happens.
Most of the newer fuel injected vehicles have the air intake located low in the engine compartment. The objective of this low air intake is to draw cool air into the engine. Unfortunately, when driving through sufficiently deep standing or splashing water, engine vacuum from the intake stroke will suck water into the engine, particularly if the intake is submerged.
On the PT (and most vehicles) standard procedure for checking an engine suspected of being hydrostatically locked, regardless of what caused the problem, include:
Caution - Do not use starter motor to rotate the engine, severe damage may occur.
1. Inspect air cleaner, induction system and intake manifold to insure system is dry and clear of foreign material.
2. Remove negative battery cable.
3. Place a shop towel around the spark plugs when removing them from the engine. This will catch any fluid that may possibly be in the cylinder under pressure.
4. With all spark plugs removed, rotate engine crankshaft using a breaker bar and socket.
5. Identify the fluid in the cylinder(s) (i.e., coolant, fuel, oil or other).
6. Make sure all fluid has been removed from the cylinders. Inspect engine for damage (i.e., connecting rods, pistons, valves, etc.)
7. Repair engine or components as necessary to prevent this problem from re-occurring.
Caution - Squirt approximately one tsp. of oil into the cylinders, rotate engine to lubricate the cylinder walls to prevent damage on restart.
8. Install new spark plugs.
9. Drain engine oil and remove oil filter.
10. Install a new oil filter.
11. Fill engine with specified amount of approved oil.
12. Connect negative battery cable.
13. Start engine and check for any leaks.
1631. I have a 2001 TE PT with 64k miles. The chrome wheels on my PT have become mottled and scratched. The tires are constantly losing air pressure. I have tried sanding and cleaning the rims but I think that because I am changing from summer to winter tires every year, this worsens the wear and tear on the wheels. I would like to change the chrome wheels for regular steel rims and dress them up with baby moon retro hubcaps and whitewall tires. I am not sure what size wheels to purchase. I believe the chrome rims are 16", but it is very hard to find W/W tires and hubcaps for this size. Can I use 15" rims? Will this deter the performance and handling and will it make the car too low? Also, what is meant by the "bolt pattern"? Thank you. – Paul, from Canada.
Were not tire experts, however the 2001 PT normally utilized a 15” or 16” rim/tire dependent upon model. If you have the chrome rims and touring package you probably have the 16” rim/tires. Review the information on the tire sidewall to confirm size. The 15" and 16" rim/tire combination are the same overall height, however if you drop down from a 16” to 15” rim/tire you may see some differences in handling dependent upon driving style.
Diamond Back Classics, Coker Tire and Universal Vintage Tire all manufacture white walls for the PT. Check with them for the most appropriate wheel/size combination for your application. Keep in mind that whenever a wheel/tire is changed it may affect the speedometer readout. Read more here. See Wheel bolt pattern here.
1632. I have a 2005 LE PT with 24k miles. This is the first winter we've had snow and ice since I got my Cruiser. After a storm with blowing snow, the door well (where the hinges are) was packed full of snow. Once water draining from the windshield froze there, the door was very hard to open. Is this a design flaw of the PT Cruiser? I have a student who is driving her grandmother's 2004 Cruiser and has the same problem. - Lisa, from Pennsylvania.
Under normal conditions water from the windshield flows into the cowl area at the base of the windshield and drains – it shouldn't drain into recessed area of the doors. That being said, the hinge area does get wet whenever you wash the PT, but yours is the first freezing complaint we have received. I would suggest checking with your local dealer (vehicle warranty), but given the tolerances on vehicles I wouldn't be surprised if it happened to other manufacturers vehicles. You can try pouring some warm water in there (when the door is difficult to open) to help thaw it out.
1633. I have a PT. A few days ago both front windows stopped working while using the switches on the instrument panel. I tested the rear center console switches and both rear passenger windows are okay. I'm puzzled and not sure if it's a fuse or other issue. – Michelle, forum poster.
The power window system receives a battery feed through one circuit breaker (#2, 20amp) in the interior fuse block. If the center console switch functions correctly with the rear windows, the fuse is ok. If the front windows do not operate from the window switches on the instrument panel you can probably rule out the L&R window motors and regulators. It would be very unlikely if components on both sides failed at once. The next thing to do is conduct a wiring voltage test to determine whether or not voltage is continuous through the body harness to the front switch. If everything is ok there, the front switch module can be diagnosed to determine if it is functioning correctly. Your local dealer can help you diagnose these issues, or if you're an experienced DIY'er diagnostics are available in the Pit area on the site.
1634. My wife's PT has oil going through Crankshaft Position Sensor. The car was starting intermittently and running rough and I narrowed it to the CPS. I pulled it out and it had oil in the connector socket. I replaced the CPS and it ran like a new car for a few days then it wouldn't start again. I pulled the CPS again and the new one was full of oil. I broke the old CPS apart and the inside was soaked with oil. I thought maybe the oil pressure was too high so I checked it with a mechanical oil pressure gauge. It idles cold at 75psi. Revving to about 2500rpm will peg the meter off the scale of 100psi. I know the Haynes manual says 25-80psi and I'm assuming 80psi max regardless of temperature. Is the oil pressure too high? I'm going to take a ride and see what the oil pressure does when it warms up. – Ryan, from USA.
At Curb Idle Speed - 4 psi
At 3000rpm - 25 to 80 psi
There's a specific procedure for checking oil pressure. You may be receiving an erroneous or high reading because you're checking it incorrectly. Review your manual, or the OE guide in the Pit area.
With regard to the oily CPS ensure that you're not experiencing oil seepage from the external oil filter. If the leak appears to be internal there may be an issue with a leaking head gasket. Check engine compression to help rule that out.
1635. I have a 2006 BE PT with 24.5k miles. The rear left signal light is not working and the front left is blinking faster. (I installed a home made trailer hitch and trailer harness.) - Alfredo, from Texas.
If the bulb is ok in the rear left signal and there's no illumination it may be an issue with an ineffective feed or ground circuit. If the issue began after you installed your trailer hitch mod, remove it and test for results. If there is no change or it began before you installed the mod, see your dealer – warranty repair.
1636. I have a 2001 BE PY with 60k miles. The front washer works, but no fluid comes out of the rear washer nozzle. Can you help? – Ron, from Ohio.
If the front nozzle works you can rule out the motor. The pump feeds both the front and rear washer. Look for a pinched or loose hose, or clogged rear nozzle.
1637. I have a 2002 LE PT with 35k miles. During the last six months the temperature gauge reading has been erratic. It never climbed above the half way point but seemed slow to open and then cycled up and down between the half way point and the 3rd quadrant mark. I had the system flushed and had a new thermostat installed, but still have the same symptoms. No matter what the outside temperature is, it acts the same. When the needle hits the half way mark it drops back to the 3rd mark and cycles up and down. Is there a problem with the coolant temp sending unit? This doesn't seem normal. – Dustin, from Oklahoma.
A temperature gauge that fluctuates, cycles or is erratic can be caused by the following:
1. Faulty electric radiator fan operation.
2. Temperature gauge or engine coolant temperature sensor is defective or shorted.
3. Coolant level low in radiator (air will build up in the cooling system causing the thermostat to open late).
4. Cylinder head gasket leaking allowing exhaust gas to enter cooling system. This will cause thermostat to open late.
5. Water pump impeller loose on shaft.
6. Air leak on the suction side of water pump allows air to build up in cooling system. This will cause the thermostat to open late.
1638. I have a 2005 TE PT with 50k miles. When the vehicle is at idle, the RPM's drop, and the engine shakes and shudders when the A/C compressor kicks on. It actually started doing it when we were using the heat in defrost mode, and now we are using the A/C, and it's happening with that too. The car idles perfectly otherwise. It's just when you hear the compressor clutch engage that the engine shakes. Is it a bad compressor, or could it be that the engine isn't properly increasing RPM's to handle the extra load? – Jon, from Michigan.
Inspect the compressor for proper operation. It would be unusual on a relatively new PT, but not unheard of. If everything appears normal and the A/C is cooling, the compressor is probably ok. There's also a compressor clutch and relay in the A/C circuit which control compressor operation through the PCM, however if A/C operation appears ok they are probably also functioning correctly.
A common cause for engine shake/shutter is simply a low idle condition. The PCM adjusts engine idle speed through the idle air control valve to compensate for engine load, coolant temperature or barometric pressure changes based upon a variety of inputs, including the throttle position sensor, crankshaft position sensor, coolant temperature sensor, MAP sensor, vehicle speed sensor and various switch operations (brake, park/neutral, A/C).
When engine rpm is above idle speed, the IAC is used for off-idle dashpot and deceleration air flow control.
A/C compressor load control (also opens the passage slightly before the compressor is engaged so that the engine rpm does not dip down when the compressor engages). The compressor in the HVAC system operates during A/C and heat/defrost modes. During these modes, when the compressor operates, RPM should increase, not decrease.
Target idle is determined by gear position, ECT sensor, battery voltage, ambient/battery temperature sensor, VSS, TPS and MAP sensor.
There's nothing in you're description to suggest a specific cause without further diagnostics. The dealer can check the PCM for fault codes which do not show up with the self tests.
1639. I have a 2001 LE PT with 75K miles. The front driver's door will not shut. It happened without any prior problems or accidents. The door will open, but when I try to close it, the latch mechanism prevents it from closing. – Barbra, from Georgia.
Try manually cycling the lock with your key, then closing the door. If the latch mechanism doesn't open the latch while cycling it is probably an issue with the latch or mechanical mechanism within the door. You may have to remove the door trim panel for further inspection.
1640. I have a 2001 LE PT (2.2L Diesel) with 71k miles. Recently the fuse for the front side lamps kept blowing. Eventually this stopped happening but now I have no brake lights (including the 3rd light at the top). I have had a new onside lamp unit fitted as the old one was cracked and allowed water to corrode the fitting and have also had the break switch changed. This has not solved the problem and as yet no one knows what is causing all three lights not to work. – April, from the U.K.
Check fuse #12 (15amp) in the PDC under the hood and fuse #2 (15amp) in the interior fuse box. If the fuses are ok, there's not much else left in the circuit. You have already replaced the brake lamp switch. Next thing to look at would be the condition of the brake lamp units (inspect lamp sockets), check circuit wiring and inspect grounds.
1641. I have a 2001 LE PT with 90k miles. I had to replace the head on the PT (old one had a crack0. All of the numbers on the rebuilt head that I received matched, but when I installed the valve Cover, it fits but the center bolts don't match up. The head only has provisions for 2 center bolts while my Cover has 3 bolts. Was the valve Cover changed at all? - Jim, from New Jersey.
Yes, according to the P/N's in the IPB there was a change in 2002.
2001 - 4777 473 EDZ Cover, Cylinder Head
2002 – 2006 - 4777 473AD EDZ Cover, Cylinder Head
EDZ=2.4L DOHC Engine.
1642. I have a 2003 TE PT with 38k miles. Since owning the vehicle the climate controls will operate intermittently. The blower fan is still running although the speed control will not work. Very little air flow is felt through any of the vents. The entire blower assembly and related electrical systems have been replaced but it still shuts down on occasion. Turning the car off for awhile will remedy the problem as will rapidly cycling the air recirculation knob. – Russell, from Maine.
PT's equipped with A/C use vacuum to operate the recirculation door. All other controls are cable operated. No forced air in heat, panel or defrost position can be caused by the following conditions:
1. Vacuum line pinched or leaking.
2. Faulty heat defroster or mode door.
3. Faulty selector switch.
4. Vacuum check valve.
I suspect that since you can resolve the problem by cycling the air recirculation knob and or by turning the vehicle off, the problem is vacuum related.
If you have previously documented this behavior with your dealer while the vehicle was under warranty you may want to approach them for help. If you wish to DIY there are diagnostics available in the service manual for troubleshooting vacuum related issues. They are also available through the Pit area on the site.
1643. I have a 2003 BE PT with 58k miles. Both back doors will not open, even with the remote. – Bill, from Canada.
Possible causes are:
Door Unlock Relay Output Circuit Short To Ground
Remote Keyless Entry Module - Unlock Relay
A diagnostic must be performed. If you have an OHM meter and some experience you can probably narrow down the possibilities, but you won't be able to DIY the repair. The second cause will require replacement of the RKE module. See your local dealer.
1644. I have a 2001 BE PT with 66k miles which intermittently over heats. I have a question about the radiator fan motor. It has 3 pins, Pin 1 goes to Low Speed relay, pin 2 goes to ground and pin 3 goes to the High Speed fan relay. It looks like when the relays are activated the Low speed will supply 12V to pin 1 and when the High speed is activated 12V will be applied to pin 3. My question is; when the High Speed is activated is the low speed activated at the same time...in other words are they both always activated in high speed operation? Thank you. – Bernie, from California.
Radiator Fan Motor (Except 2.4l Turbo) - Black 3 Way
Cavity - Description
1 - Low Speed Radiator Fan Relay Output
2 - Ground
3 - High Speed Radiator Fan Relay Output
The service manual is not specific in this area, however the language in the diagnostic guide suggests, and our understanding is, that low and high speed relay operation are independent of each other. You may want to verify this with your local dealer. You'll find a radiator fan operational guide and a diagnostic for the fan in the Pit area on site if you need additional help.
1645. I have a 2001 TE PT export (2.0L) with 60k miles. The ABS/ TRAC control lights illuminate intermittently whilst driving along, no set time or distance traveled. Sometimes you can drive the car 30 miles and it will show no problems. And the next day, the warning lights will illuminate/ beep for a while and then go off, or they could just stay illuminated the whole trip. I have tried various approaches; once they illuminate, I stop the car when it's safe to do so. I turn off the ignition and then start the car again and the problem does not occur again for an unspecified time or distance. I assumed there must be a dirty or loose connection in the system. I replaced all brake pads (disc's/rotors) on the car. I cleaned the ABS wheel speed sensors (no damage or scoring) and drive shafts which were not damaged, but were very dirty. I checked the wiring harness for and signs of wiring degradation or chaffing and all connectors/sensor's from wheel to ABS control module for corrosion resulting in a higher resistance; all were in good condition. This rather puzzling to me; any help would be greatly appreciated.- Glen, from Scotland.
I believe that you have checked everything that you can in attempting to diagnose this issue. The service manuals provide little information for DIY troubleshooting ABS issues and this is not a common issue reported by owners. I would suggest that you have a local dealer check the vehicle with their DRB III scan tool to help isolate the issue. If there are DTC's present, they are kept in the ABS controller's memory until either erased by the technician using a scan tool, or erased automatically after 3500 miles or 255 ignition key cycles, whichever occurs first. DTC's are retained by the controller even if the ignition is turned off or the battery is disconnected. More than one DTC can be stored at a time. When accessed, the number of occurrences and the DTC that is stored are displayed. Another thing they may want to rule out is an issue with the cluster itself.
1646. I have a 2004 GFT PT with 50k miles. Several bulbs have burned out behind the speedometer and tachometer. Not a big deal to change but time consuming. Maybe there is a deeper problem? – Frank, from Virginia.
If they all failed at one time I would suspect a problem with the instrument cluster. If they all failed over time, could be a coincidence, but it would be rare, and I would still have the cluster checked.
1647. I just rented a 2007 PT which didn't include an owner manual. It ran out of washer fluid and I can't find the reservoir. I've probably looked right at it but I can't seem to find it! I managed to find the fillers for EVERYTHING else. Thank you. - Forum Post
The washer reservoir is concealed between the left inner fender shield and the left outer fender panel, ahead of the left front wheel house splash shield. The filler neck and cap are the only visible components of the reservoir and, are accessed from the left front corner of the engine compartment.
1648. We have a 2002 TE PT with 140k miles. I was involved in an accident and broke the radiator reservoir, creased and pushed in the front fenders above the bumper and broke the grille. I purchased a new radiator at a local radiator shop. The new one has nipples for the transmission coolant while the original does not. There are two cooler assemblies in front of the radiator, which I'm guessing are for the A/C condenser and transmission cooler. Can I just "jumper" the 2 nipples to get my PT back on the road for our trip back up to San Diego? - Kurt, from California.
Sorry to hear of your situation. If the new radiator is different from the OE radiator, you may have purchased a universal fit radiator. We can not comment on aftermarket parts that we're not familiar with and or can't physically inspect. We suggest that you contact the radiator shop that sold you the part with any questions you have. As a precaution, I will mention that a few owners have reported replacing OE radiators with universal fit units and experienced cooling issues therefore we recommend replacing the OE radiator with an OE component to avoid potential issues. Many dealerships offer weekend service; you may want to seek out advice there. I am enclosing a PDF attachment of the IPB for the OE radiator for your review and you will find an OE radiator guide here.
Follow up by owner- Thanks for your rapid response to my question. The radiator shop was closed early for Easter. I was lucky to get a radiator but did not realize that it was not a direct replacement. I hadn't had time to remove the OEM radiator in order to get to the shop before it closed. Generally speaking, I followed the standard radiator removal/installation procedure on the site. Everything went back together with no real problems. The two extra nipples on the bottom of radiator (transmission cooler?) were jumped together with a piece of high-temp flex tubing. A short test drive showed all connections were tight. I was worried because the vehicle wanted to stall out. Shutting off the A/C reduced that to a barely discernable occasional shudder. Some residual coolant was steaming. When the vehicle was started up, about a half a glass of water blew out the tail pipe. After cooling down from the test drive I started the PT again with no unusual water discharge or noises. Monday my wife drove the car about 5 miles to work and it overheated. I recommended she fill the coolant reservoir, which was empty. After work she took the car to our mechanic, back from Easter holiday, and had him check the vehicle. It overheated on the way to the shop. He added more coolant and pronounced the car fit for service. Apparently it takes a while for the air pockets to get chased out.
1649. I have a 2001 LE PT, which came with a full bra. I only use the portion that covers the front of the hood. When I removed the bra, there was a light fogging of the paint (car is silver). Any way to remove this fogging? – Forum poster, from USA.
The fogging is usually caused by moisture trapped underneath the bra. Bra's work fine however whenever they get wet/moist they must be removed from the vehicle and dried out before using them again. Some owners have been successful in removing the cloudiness with a hand-held hair drier. Direct hot air at the cloudy areas and test for improvement. If that doesn't resolve the issue check with a local professional automotive detailing service; hopefully, you won't have to repaint.
1650. I have a 2003 TE PT with 80k miles. It runs rough at low idle, hesitates under load especially when accelerating or climbing a hill. I have replaced the plugs, PCV valve (found PCV valve hose was collapsing at idle), coolant cap gasket and cleaned the fuel system. Still have rough low idle and hesitation - nearly stalls on acceleration. – Joe, from Michigan.
I would try cleaning the throttle body (where the IAC motor/pintle is located) next. If you're still using your original OE plug wires replace them with a set of quality aftermarket or Mopar performance wires. If you're using the Champion DP plugs try gapping them to 0.042 instead of the factory recommended setting. Test for results.
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